It’s always easy to dismiss emerging technology trends as insignificant fads, with voice search offering a relevant case in point.
There’s no doubt that voice search is the real deal, however, with this having been ranked as the third most influential SEO trend back in 2017. There are also a staggering 33 million voice-first devices now in circulation, and as this number continues to rise so too does the percentage of voice searches carried out online.
Three years ago, for example, voice search accounted for approximately one-fifth of all Google queries, while this is expected to peak at 50% by the end of 2020.
With this in mind, it’s crucial that you take the time to optimise your content and website for voice search. Here are some ideas to help you achieve this:
Optimise Your Website for Local SEO
If we drill deeper into voice search statistics and how they’re directed, we see that this type of query is three-times more likely to be local in nature.
This is part of a far wider trend, of course, with Google suggesting that up to 46% of all searches have a ‘local intent’.
This is an important consideration, and one that should urge businesses to optimise their profiles and contact information and ensure that this data is completely accurate.
It’s also crucial that you understand which data sets are the most relevant in relation to specific queries and keyword phrases, as this will improve your SEO performance and hopefully drive a higher rate of conversions.
If a customer queries where he can find the best coffee in London, for example, you should note that Google will base its results on the precise location of listed establishments and their opening hours.
So, you must ensure that this data is recorded accurately and updated whenever necessary, while ensuring that your blog and website content is optimised in relation to targeted keywords and phrases (we’ll have more on this a little later).
Over time, we’d also recommend researching the type of questions that your target audience is likely to submit through voice search channels, before creating new and informative content that provides relevant answers and information.
Focus on Phrases and Longtail Keywords
Even outside of voice search, longtail keywords are becoming increasingly influential in the field of SEO, as businesses look to compete more aggressively with their rivals and perform better in relation to targeted phrases and keywords.
In simple terms, longtail keywords are highly-focused and ‘unpopular’ in their nature, which means that they’re more likely to boast a higher rate of conversion and provide your business with a unique competitive edge in its chosen market.
The reason for this is simple; as the vast majority of Google searches are very specific and unpopular, which is why it’s so crucial for firms to understand their customer’s most common longtail queries and customise content that responds to them directly.
Identifying the most common and relevant longtail queries through voice search can be challenging, however, as we tend not to speak in the same way that we write. As a general rule, we speak in a much more casual and conversational tone, while we’re also more likely to structure sentences differently.
This is reflected by the fact that four and five-word phrases have significantly more search volume than those with two words, with voice searches posed as the type of question that you would ask another person when requesting information.
Overall, an estimated 29.13% of keywords with more than 10,001 monthly searches are made up of three or more words, so try to optimise your content with this point firmly in mind.
Focus on Content Across Blogs, Web Pages and FAQ Pages
With these points in mind, the only question that remains is how do you ensure that your content is optimised across a number of branded channels?
This is the next logical step after understanding the popular queries submitted by your customers and the way in which they interact with voice search, as it will inform your responses and create a highly-effective content strategy.
To begin with, you’ll need to ensure that you build content based on intuitive but specific customer queries, while adopting a staggered approach that initially prioritises longtail the most popular and widely used longtail keywords.
Then, you’ll have to create targeted content for specific channels, primarily your FAQ page and company blog.
These channels should include content that’s authoritative, natural and extremely focused, while making use of relevant longtail keywords and a conversational tone that matches people’s speech patterns.
Long-form content and informative copy works particularly well in this instance, and don’t be afraid to adopt a multi-channel strategy when answering specific queries.
After all, this enables customers to engage with your brand through a number of different channels, while improving the organic quality of the search engine results over time.